This interview was translated from DailyGame.co.kr to English by 5MahN.
Original interview by Daily eSports reporter Kang Seung-gil and was published July 30, 2013.
This week on LOL STAR is MVP Ozone’s AD Carry ‘Imp’ (real name: Koo Seungbin). If Locodoco was League of Legend’s first ‘bad boy’ pro player, then Imp is his descendent. Imp’s overflowing confidence during interviews as he makes comments and trash talks captures his fans’ attention every time. His upfront and blunt attitude has earned him a lot of haters as well, but until his retirement Imp will continue to tell the truth.
With his aggressive playstyle and cute appearance, MVP Ozone’s Imp has attracted a lot of fans. Let’s start the interview:
Hello, would you like to say something to your fans?
I am MVP Ozone’s AD Carry ‘Imp’ Koo Seung Bin. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a solo interview.
Your team qualified into the Summer Season’s Quarterfinals easily and didn’t have to play a tiebreaker. What have you been up to this week?
For a while I took a break. I caught up on sleep and just stayed in the dorm playings games (laughs).
It’s been a little over a month since MVP Ozone won Champion’s Spring, but it seems like a long time has past.
We’re this season’s defending champions right? It is a lot of pressure because that means we have to meet such high expectations.
Of course you’d be lying if you said you weren’t feeling pressure. But since you’ve won it seems like your fanbase has increased a lot.
Definitely we’ve gained a lot of fans. But still, I’m the type that tends to avoid female fans a bit. I need to focus on practice and tournaments (laughs).
Who do you think has the most popularity on the team?
Me or Homme have the most fans. I have as many haters as fans, since I just tell it like it is (laughs). On the outside, Homme looks like a tough guy but inside he’s a big softie. I think fans see that more vulnerable side and like him for it. Some fans say that Homme and I don’t always get along well, but that’s not true. We’re really close (laughs).
Actually, last season no one thought that MVP Ozone would win it all. As you moved from the group stages to the quarterfinals to the semifinals, beating strong teams, what were you feeling?
As we moved closer and closer to the finals, I didn’t feel nervous. Actually I felt more nervous during the group stages and quarterfinals. The quarterfinals game against KT Rolster B was the most climatic moment.
Why the quarterfinals game?
In truth, until last season our best placing at a tournament was the top 8. I realized how hard it is to break above your own limitations. Of course, there was also twice as much joy (laughs).
In the semifinals you beat SK Telecom T1 and then you had to face CJ Entus Blaze in the finals. At that point, MVP Ozone had never won against Blaze before.
It wasn’t that we were particularly weak to CJ Blaze, but more so that we were just weak in general (laughs). However, CJ Blaze did provide us with strong motivation. We wanted to become better than Blaze.
Before the finals you must have felt the pressure.
When preparing for the finals, no matter how hard we brainstormed we couldn’t come up with a winning strategy. Still, as the finals approached I actually became relaxed. We went into the finals with relaxed hearts because we’d already defied expectations by winning the quarterfinals and thought, ‘well, if we came this far then we’ve done well.’
In the first game, Captain Jack picked Caitlyn. In the post-win interview, you said “seeing Captain Jack pick Caitlyn, I didn’t think we were going to lose.” Why was that?
Captain Jack hadn’t mastered Caitlyn, but he played Caitlyn with good results in the semifinals so I think that’s why he picked her again. Actually, when Captain Jack was in his prime he had his own playstyle but now I feel like his teammates influence his playstyle too much. That’s why I believed that my skills were superior to his, allowing me to play in the finals with confidence.
When the opposing AD Carry picked Caitlyn, I saw you pick Vayne immediately after and thought you were tremendously confident. You are a player that always overflows with confidence but what is the source of that (laughs)?
I wasn’t the type that played the game well. Compared to other players my hand was slower, and I did damage calculations with my gut. However, I also try very hard. Through lots of practice, I piled up experience and gained the ability to flexibly manage many different situations. As tournament results began to match with the level of effort I put in, I gradually came to believe in myself. That’s where my confidence stems from.
I thought you were a genius player but it turns out you worked very hard?
That’s why it’s always scary to play against pros with a genius reputation. Pray is particularly impressive. If I became this good through effort, then Pray was born with natural talent. Looking just at talent, Pray is the world’s best AD carry.
As the tournament progressed I think you’ve become more like an adult. Previously you had a reputation for being rather mischievous (laughs).
Before, I felt very scared because the skill level of LoL had risen dramatically. So I purposefully declared ‘Weixiao’ as my rival or trash talked other players. If I said that stuff on air and then lost the game my pride would be hurt, so wouldn’t I practice more to prevent that? But after I got crushed by Pray I became more quiet (laughs). Fans think I’m weak against Pray, but last winter season I crushed him, okay? No one seems to remember that (laughs).
I don’t remember that well either (laughs)? In Champions Winter, MVP Ozone was still the team where you only had to shut down Imp. Was it hard for you during those times?
That thought did constantly nag me. Everytime we played, I was burdened by the thought that if I didn’t carry, we would lose. However, now since my teammates play so well I can play a bit more relaxed. More diverse playstyles can come out now.
What does your IGN ‘Imp’ mean?
I originally used the IGN 잊혀진계절 (meaning: ‘forgotten season’), right? I used that until about two weeks after I joined the team and then changed to ‘Imp.’ At a moment when I was pondering over what IGN to use, a friend that plays World of Warcraft suggested the name ‘Imp.’ In WoW, ‘Imp’ is the name of a devilish character, and in our dorm I had the reputation of being a devil.
It’s an IGN that matches your image very well (laughs). So now, we have to talk about Mata, your support player. As you duoed with Mata, I think your talent has increased.
If the support is good, then naturally the AD carry’s talent increases. Mata plays well so I can trust him when I play. Honestly, my previous supports couldn’t match my skill level.
Last season before the quarterfinals, you two fought, right? Do you guys usually squabble a lot?
That was the first time. In truth, it was no big deal. During practice a message came so I was checking that, and in Mata’s perspective it looked like I wasn’t focusing. He’d nagged me before, actually. I’d just been letting it go but at that moment I got angry.
To you, what kind of person is Mata?
Now, I don’t think I could play LoL with any support that wasn’t Mata. Could I say my standards have been raised too high? I only need to focus on doing damage. Probably, Mata couldn’t play with any other AD carry but me, either (laughs).
Previously, Mata said that you actually do better with champions you hadn’t played in tournaments before. Honestly, in an important match it seems like it would be hard to pull out a champion you hadn’t practiced a lot.
It’s not like that anymore (laughs). Before, I when my mechanics were at the optimum level I could play any champ and win. Even if I didn’t practice it would work out, but lately I got scared and can’t do it anymore. I think my mechanics have slowly dulled a bit.
Still, there must be at least one champion you feel confident with without having a lot of practice.
Vayne, Varus, Twitch, Caitlyn. I’m confident that I can do fairly well with those four champs, even without especially practicing them.
People have forgotten now, but you used to be best known for your Sivir play. Last March at MLG you played Sivir, too. Do you think you could play her now?
I could play her but she’s too weak. There are many champs that strongly counter Sivir.
In order for Sivir to see tournament play, what would have to happen?
As short as her range is, you need to have great positioning. Before anything else. I wish her range would increase a little (laughs). Right now I only see Sivir’s shortcomings, so I can’t pick her.
Nowadays when we say ‘Imp,’ Vayne comes up. You only started playing her in this year’s Champions Spring. Honestly, even up until Champions Spring, Vayne was one of the champions you couldn’t play? I’m curious as to how you practiced Vayne in order to become so skilled with her.
I started practicing Vayne in February. I was playing a lot of normal games with a friend and he kept trying to make me play Vayne (laughs). So whenever I had the chance I practiced Vayne. When I tried her in solo queue it turned out she was pretty good. I also studied a lot of TPA’s games with Vayne in SWL. After that I realized Vayne was actually quite viable and began practicing her properly.
What do you like most about Vayne?
Vayne is a champion that makes the impossible possible. There are hardly any games where I’ve chosen Vayne and lost.
Against Xenics Storm, you played Vayne and got a quadra kill. You must have felt very bitter about not getting that penta kill.
Of course I was bitter. Riris got a pentakill with Vayne, right? I was jealous. However, I’m not very greedy for a penta kill. I can do that later. I have to put greed aside in order to do well.
Still, you got MVP. I heard the competition for MVP is very fierce in the team. Apparently, after games you all say that you were the MVP (laughs)?
That’s right (laughs). However, it’s not something I pay a lot of attention to. As long as you just win MVP three times in the finals, you become the season MVP anyway (laughs).
This season, along with you, it seems like Piglet, Riris, Space, and Raven have been garnering a lot of attention. Who do you think is your rival?
My rival is Pray. The other players are a bit inexperienced, would you say?
Previously, you always said that World Elite’s Weixiao was your rival (laughs).
At that time, I was under the impression that Weixiao was the best (laughs). Nowadays I think I’m at the same level as world class AD carries.
But at the May All Star’s Tournament in China, Weixiao was asked if he knew Imp and he said no (laughs)?
He most likely knows me. There’s something the WE coach said to our manager. He said “Weixiao thinks Imp is a very impressive player.” Last time when I got invited to China, we also greeted each other. At All Star’s, he purposefully pretended he didn’t know me.
I tried to embarrass you but you got out of that well (laughs). Did you see the picture where the community said you looked like the celebrity Song Eun-yi (laughs)? [Song Eun-yi is a middle-aged female comedian]
My fans made the picture so I can’t think badly of it (laughs). I saw it in good humor (laughs). Actually, I’ve heard that type of thing for a long time so it didn’t bother me that much.
This season you’re aiming for the top again, what team do you think is the strongest competition?
CJ Frost. We’ve never played a game against them (laughs). And seeing last week’s ‘LOL STAR,’ it seems like SK Telecom T1 really wants to face us. Honestly, last time Mata played Blitzcrank so that’s why we went 3:1. This time we’re going to win 3:0. SK Telecom T1 is actually very strong but it seems like they’re weak against us.
What’s the reason MVP Ozone is strong against SK Telecom T1?
They’ve always lost against us so there’s a lot of pressure on them; there is an obsessive rivalry there. It’s like that for us with CJ Blaze. If SK Telecom T1 wants to go to finals it’s probably best if they don’t meet us in the semifinals (laughs).
If you get good results this season, you could qualify for the World Cup. You must have dreamed about competing on the world stage. What do you think it will be like?
Last year, I didn’t watch the World Cup games. So I can’t really imagine what it’ll be like (laughs). I haven’t really thought about it yet. Still, it’ll be fantastic, right? Just the thought of games at that high of a level is exciting. For now, I’ll focus on reality in order to make my dreams become reality.
We await a strong performance from MVP Ozone at the World Cup. We also can’t wait to see more great performances from you. We’ll conclude the interview with a statement about your goals.
I want to become an AD carry who isn’t matched by anyone. Also, I want to be remembered by fans as the player that worked the hardest. Truthfully, until we won first place last season there were a lot of fans who didn’t know MVP Ozone even existed. So I look forward to not only ‘Imp’ but MVP Ozone gaining more recognition (laughs). We will continue to be a team that never gives up and tries our best until the very end. Please support MVP Ozone and ‘Imp’ (laugh).